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Cult: Bloom out

Barbara, I am very familiar with the condition you described in your
seedlings.  It is called pineappling and is different from bloom-out though
sometimes they occur together.  Bloom-out is when every plant in a clump
blooms and no shoots are left to multiply and bloom again.  The clump dies.
Pineappling is characterized by many short deformed stalks coming from the
main rhizome.  Usually there are also normal fans in the clump.  One should
cut out the abnormal parts and the clump has a good chance of recovering.
If the whole clump came out of the ground, check its roots.  If it has no
live growing roots, then it is affected by a condition known as balding, and
is essentially dead.  If it has at least one healthy rhizome with live
roots, separate it from the defective part of the clump and plant it.  It
should do alright.

All of these undesirable conditions seem to be affected by both climate and
culture.  They are rare in the cold parts of the country.  Bloom-out and
balding are iris suicide, and I seldom replace one that will do it.
Pineappling seems to be an effect of heat stress.  It affects some varieties
more than others.  If most of the seedlings from one cross suffer from it, I
would not consider that a good cross for your climate.

Francelle Edwards  Glendale, AZ  Zone 9

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